Red Sox call prospect Mookie Betts up to the major leagues

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The Red Sox have promoted prospect Mookie Betts up to the big leagues, John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports. The 21-year-old will be available for Saturday night’s match-up against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Update: Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox sent Rubby De La Rosa down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Betts on the 25-man roster.

Drafted out of high school by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, this is just the fourth year of professional baseball for Betts. He started the season at Double-A Portland for the first time and quickly moved up to Triple-A Pawtucket, slashing a combined .345/.437/.520 with eight home runs, 48 RBI, and 29 stolen bases in 34 attempts.

Betts has traditionally been an infielder, but started playing the outfield more as the Red Sox have the third-lowest outfielder OPS in baseball. Additionally, the Sox had to shut down Shane Victorino for the time being after he experienced a setback during his rehab assignment due to back soreness.

Bryce Harper will not be discussing his impending free agency with the media

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Bryce Harper is entering his walk year and it is widely expected that the Scott Boras client will, indeed, test out free agency next fall rather than engage in any substantial way with the Washington Nationals about a contract extension. There were some “casual conversations” between the parties in the early fall of 2017, but the Nats came away from that, quite reasonably, believing that Harper, who stands to land the largest contract in baseball history, will shop around.

For his part, Harper met the media on his first day of spring training workouts and let everyone know that, no, he does not plan to answer questions about his potential free agency every day between now and November. From MASN:

“Just want to let you guys know I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all,” said Harper. “I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call Scott and he can answer you guys.”

Makes sense. The alternative would be for Harper to give the same canned “I’m only focused on our next game” responses in front of his locker 150 times this summer, and that doesn’t serve anyone.

Thinking back to any other impending free agent’s comments about his free agency, I can’t remember a story along those lines which was worth much of anything. The genre generally consists of headlines which oversell an innocuous or offhand comment from a player as a means of guessing where his head is at with respect to his current team. I can’t think of any story in which a player, during his walk year, said something that concretely and definitively signaled his intensions in free agency one way or the other.

Reporters covering the Nationals who are curious as to how Harper feels about his current team at any given time would be better served just observing and inferring, with particular attention paid to how Harper and his teammates view the Nats’ competitive position as the season goes on, how they react to trades and stuff like that. There’s a lot of guesswork in all of that, but it sure beats trying to get a media savvy player like Harper to admit, after going 1-for-4 against the Phillies, where he plans to spend the next seven to ten years of his professional life.